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Spring Cleaning: Shear Tuning

The recent high-temps got lots or people out cleaning and working on their garden, and we were no exception. After trying to trim some dead branches from the shrubs, we noticed our shears and pruners were doing more crushing than cutting. As the cutters were otherwise in good shape, we thought we would see if we could give the blades a sharpening.

Unlike a pair of scissors, most gardening loppers and pruners are single-bladed. In order to have the best access to the blade, take the cutter apart. Typically, there is a central bolt holding everything together. Removing the bolt separates the blade from the rest of the pruner. Just mindful of the spring.

The sharpener we used was a carbide unit from SnapOn. It is inexpensive and perfect for restoring an edge to things like pruners, pocket knives, and other working blades. A spray of WD-40 and a few quick strokes with the sharpener was all it took to bring the edge back to life.

Taking the cutter apart let us sharpen the entire cutting edge, but disassembly is not absolutely necessary. To sharpen the blade without taking anything apart, just position the sharpener as deep into the opening as possible and start from there. You won’t get the entire blade, but depending on the width of the opening, you will get pretty close.

Well-tuned cutters are better for you and your plants. You will get the job done faster, the cuts will be cleaner, and the plant will heal faster. Everybody wins!

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